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Category: Politics

Brexit Possibilities

Brexit Possibilities

It’s often difficulty trying to estimate probabilities, particularly when there are many different potential futures.  Availability bias means we tend to assign a greater weight to the options we’re thinking about, even if they’re actually quite a small sample of the possibility space. Brexit  at the moment lends itself to this, with a large number of options opening up in an increasingly unpredictable landscape. Complicating matters is that there are a lot of different paths to many of the options….

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Christmas Quiz XIII is now live!

Christmas Quiz XIII is now live!

Christmas Quiz III is now live! The theme this year is countries and regions: all answers are the names of countries or regions. All clues are based purely on the name of the country or region and any connection to the nature of the country or region is entirely coincidental. Names are the standard English name of the country or region. All reference sources are permitted. Answers will be available from Epiphany from this site with the usual honour and…

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Belated Budget thoughts and ‘the end of austerity’

Belated Budget thoughts and ‘the end of austerity’

Brexit might be the news of the day right now, but last month’s Budget remains an important turning point. I’ve had a few people ask me how there seemed to be more money around in the Budget and where it came from, while there’s been plenty of debate on what the end of austerity really means. Before we answer those questions; however, which I’ll do by means of a simple analogy, it’s vitally important to make sure we fully understand…

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Conservative Home: We Must recapture the commanding heights of society from the left

Conservative Home: We Must recapture the commanding heights of society from the left

In my latest article for Conservative Home, I discuss how the right has ceded the core ground of society’s opinion formers and thought leaders to the left, and what we might do to reclaim it. Read the full article below. Iain Mansfield: We must recapture the commanding heights of society from the Left

Free Will vs Predestination: A Difference between Right and Left

Free Will vs Predestination: A Difference between Right and Left

So many of the disagreements between those on the right and those on the left can be explained by differing attitudes on the question of free will vs predestination. I am not speaking here of the strict philosophical or religious meanings of the terms, but rather of the extent to which outcomes in life are determined by a person’s background, external circumstances or innate characteristics (predestination, the domain of the left) or to that person’s own choices and decisions (free…

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Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

One of the starkest aspects of how divided our society is currently, is in the way language can differ so greatly even on matters where people are in agreement. I follow many active Remain supporters on various social media platforms, most of whom are people I greatly respect, despite disagreeing on whether we should leave the EU. Every week I see dozens of tweets and posts expressing concern about the situation of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit. I struggle…

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My first Conservative Party Conference

My first Conservative Party Conference

This week I attended my first ever Conservative Party Conference (for that matter, my first ever political conference). As a civil servant, these had been strictly off limits, a banned political activity as mysterious and transgressive as they come, so it was with particular excitement that I headed up to Birmingham on Saturday. Some people, like me, may have absorbed a number of myths about the Conference, based on media reporting; namely, that it is expensive, that it is overly…

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D&D Political Alignments

D&D Political Alignments

YouGov recently put out the results of a poll which had attempted to classify the UK population in terms of D&D Alignment. Whilst an awesome concept, it did also produce a few peculiar results, mainly because of the way it relied on self-classification to determine alignment; nevertheless, it makes interesting and amusing reading. This prompted me to classify political ideologies by D&D alignment, with the following result:       Lawful Good   Conservatism       Neutral Good  …

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Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Fact: The Good Friday Agreement does not prohibit a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Stating that it does is an incorrect factual statement, and therefore either an error or a lie. If you doubt this, the full text of the agreement is here:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf Fact: The UK Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach have agreed that there should be no hard border following Brexit. It is true this is a relevant point when disscussing the subject. It…

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Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

In my latest Conservative Home article I argue that we should support the Chequers deal – but only if we simultaneously ramp up preparations for no deal, to ensure no more concessions. I also consider the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to show just how swiftly a country can be separated if the political will to do so is there. Read the full article here: Iain Mansfield: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and…

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